Aug 3, 2023 - Economy

Hopin, once valued at $7.6 billion, makes some major changes

Illustration of a cloud in the shape of a play icon.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Venture capitalists valued virtual events company Hopin at around $7.6 billion in mid-2021, believing that the pandemic had permanently changed the nature of live gatherings.

Fast forward: Those investors are now getting some of their money back, as Hopin moves to a new model at a much lower valuation, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Driving the news: RingCentral, a publicly traded rival to Zoom, on Wednesday said it's agreed to buy Hopin's events management platform and interactive engagement tools.

  • No financial terms were disclosed. [Update: A subsequent regulatory filing from RingCentral puts the price at upwards of $50 million]

Behind the scenes: Hopin plans to use some of the proceeds, plus existing cash, to provide partial liquidity for its venture capital backers, who invested more than $1 billion. Specifically, those participating in the Series B round and beyond can expect to recoup around half of their outlays.

  • They'd also remain shareholders in the remaining company, which is pivoting to focus on a video streaming product called StreamYard (based on a 2021 acquisition). There might even be a rebrand in the future.
  • Among the changes will be the departure of Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat, who netted nearly $200 million via a secondary tied to the 2021 venture round.
  • Not all investors, however, seem interested in sticking around for what's effectively a new company, revalued closer to $400 million, and are expected to effectively exit. Likely parties here are crossover firms like Altimeter Capital Management.
  • The new valuation should help Hopin attract new employees, as the prior price made hiring difficult.

Neither Hopin nor Altimeter returned requests for comment.

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